Poet Ocean Vuong experiments with a brand new form in his meditative debut novel: the queer protagonist writes a cathartic yet tender letter to his Vietnamese mother, who will most likely never read it. Vuong’s visceral, unflinching use of language and metaphors hit like a tsunami, awakening numbed readers to the raw emotions and reckonings that make us human.
For those interested in understanding the inner-workings of Apollo 11’s mission to the moon, Phil Dollings and Christoper Riley’s Owners’ Manual affords insight previously seen by those working on the mission. From diagrams of rockets and command modules to details of suits worn by the crew and instructions on how to fly Apollo 11, there’s a bounty of information to peruse.
Beginning with some of civilization’s first sketches of objects in the sky and ending with some of our most high-definition satellite imagery, Sun and Moon is a thrilling catalog of important cosmic discoveries. Assembled by Mark Holborn and published by Phaidon, the book presents how we’ve used photography and cartography to explore space and time (and our ever-changing understanding of them) over thousands of years. With its publish coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Sun and Moon gives new (and old) insight to curious readers.
With a keen eye and an artist’s touch, photographer Ethan James Green presents 55 tritone images in his debut monograph, Young New York. Published by Aperture Foundation and featuring an introduction from actress Hari Nef, the book does more than just document the diversity of the city, it celebrates the subjects found within. It will long be a reference for NYC at this moment, even as it transcends place and time.
From 1914 to 1925 Henry Ford and Thomas Edison went on annual road trips under the moniker “The Vagabonds”—they only ceased because their fame made the trips impossible to coordinate. The two traveled in order to survey the condition of America’s roads, in conjunction with the exponential growth of the automotive industry. The pair may have ventured with chefs and butlers, but this book—written by former investigate journalist Jeff Guinn—focuses on the more engaging details surrounding the duo’s relationship.
Penned by Man Booker-nominated author David Means, Instructions for a Funeral is a poetic and poignant collection of short stories. From a tale about fatherhood to one that follows two FBI agents on a stakeout, the stories offer lifelong lessons about compassion, love, addiction and more. Each unlike the last, these tales not only thrill, but also also provoke contemplation.
This beguiling book is made up of 15 stories by 15 writers, each exploring their relationship with their mother. What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About began as a moving personal essay by Michele Filgate, the book’s editor, and is unputdownable. Whether estranged or close, funny, tender, heartbreaking or mystifying, each of these mother/child dynamics is complex and entirely unique—yet readers will see themselves in a lot of the beautiful stories.
Written by respected English music journalist Jon Savage, This searing light, the sun and everything else: Joy Division: The Oral History is essential reading for music fans. Detailing the pioneering band’s existence (from 1976 to 1980), Savage draws from interviews with surviving band members—Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner—and contemporaries including their manager Rob Gretton, Factory Records co-founder Tony Wilson, art designer Peter Saville and others. This comprehensive and chronological account of the wildly influential post-punk band offers insights and stories never heard before.
Black is the Body: Stories From My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine is a memoir, made up of several personal essays that meld together the experiences of author Emily Bernard’s family. From growing up black in the South to addressing interracial marriage, international adoption and motherhood, the book tells a tale of race in America—but it’s more than that. Anchored by a horrific violent crime that changed her life, Bernard shares complex and personal—but also always universal—stories in this moving book.
Published by Doubleday, Colson Whitehead’s novel The Nickel Boys: A Novel takes place during Jim Crow-era Florida. Within the book, Whitehead details the lives of two black boys sentenced to endure the horrific conditions of a reform school called the Nickel School. Piercing and poignant, their stories are based on a real school that housed boys for over 100 years.
Sophie Mackintosh’s The Water Cure is a deliciously sinister dystopic work of fiction about a family who inhabits an island where outsiders have not been allowed. After the father goes missing and three men wash ashore, the story turns into a tale of desire, violence, toxicity and revenge. The novel was long-listed for the 2018 Man Booker Prize in the category of best original novel in the English language.
Photographer Olivia Lopez brings an insider eye and impeccable design direction to her debut book Lust for Los Angeles: A Lifestyle Guide to LA. With 200 pages of imagery and copy, the book acts as both a guide and a sociological study of the city. From architecture and landscapes to dining and style destinations, Lopez’s journey covers a wide swath of neighborhoods and cultural necessities.
Musician/artist/writer Vivek Shraya’s book I’m Afraid of Men is a fascinating, emotionally fraught and deeply personal tome. Shraya traces the concept and issues surrounding the patriarchy—from her own gender performance as a child, to its consequences for people of color, and the ways in which many see masculinity as a synonym for misogyny, violence, homophobia and transphobia. Seeing through the eyes of a transgender woman of color—if only for a moment—will provoke reflection and change in readers.
Written by journalist and former West Coast editor of High Times, David Bienenstock, this guide to marijuana isn’t for rookies. Experts will enjoy the deep-dive into all things cannabis—from the plant’s lifecycle, customs, culture, recipes, travel tips and more. Not only super-informative, it’s also funny and compelling.
HODINKEE‘s Stephen Pulvirent joins Gene Stone on a revision of the latter author’s iconic guide to mechanical watches, originally published in 2006. Here, both experts probe the state of the watch industry today, address new brands and the continued impact of traditional leaders like Omega and Cartier. In conjunction with magnificent photography, the analysis and insight provided in this hardcover release will inform beginners and intrigue experts.
Fatimah Asghar encapsulates her experiences as a Pakistani and Muslim woman living in the USA in her glorious book of poems: If They Come for Us. Asghar (also a co-creator of the award winning web-series Brown Girls) explores identity, race, sexuality, loss and violence through thoughtful and tender prose. Each piece seems to blossom. Inventive, powerful, and entirely beautiful, Asghar’s poems enthrall.